Innovation: Development Of An Interactive Tool For The Implementation Of Environmental Legislation In Nanoparticle Manufacturers

Last update: 28.11.2013
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Keywords: 
risk management, industrial risks, hazardous substances risk management, risk assessment and monitoring risk management, human health protection
The development of nanomaterials - defined as having at least one dimension of 100 nanometres or less – is an area of science and industry expected to yield numerous technological advances. More than 1 500 European businesses are now involved in the production of substances at nanoscale and nanomaterials are providing a proliferation of new products in textiles and coatings in particular.

However, the unique properties of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) also create potential health risks. Nano-particles are released into the environment both intentionally and unintentionally throughout the ENM lifecycle (production, use and disposal). This is believed to create risks of bioaccumulation in soil and water or excessive absorption through the skin, with consequent negative effects on environmental and human health.

There is already increasing evidence of ecotoxicological effects on key species and communities, including the inhibition of seed germination and root growth, and oxidative stress in algae. Relevant regulations, including REACH, are having to be updated regularly to keep up with the technical advances in nanotechnology. This creates challenges for legislators. However, it also creates problems for companies involved in nanotechnologies, many of whom are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They have to continually increase and renew their knowledge in relation to the environmental consequences of their work and the evolving legislation, including the administrative procedures that they must fulfil.


ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM TARGETED
Nanomaterials production involves several potential environmental risks directly related to the production process (production, functionalisation and incorporation into nanocomposites), and nanowastes generated could comprise items such as contaminated wipes, filters and discarded components. Assessment of their impact is a function of their intrinsic characteristics, the manufacturing process, size of batch production, storage and distribution. In general, companies involved in nanotechnology have a high technological background. However, usually there is a lack of knowledge related to environmental aspects, their impact, the laws that the companies must comply and the required administrative/bureaucratic procedures.

PROJECT GOALS:

The project objectives: To contribute to the efficient implantation of the environmental policy and legislation in nanomaterials manufacturers companies, specially SMEs. It includes the development of an interactive platform (e-tool) for environmental self diagnosis addressed to nanoparticles manufacturers in European countries

Project results:

1- A tool for evaluation their environmental status engaged to nanomaterials production.

2- A Guideline to manage their environmental impact

3- Implemented e-tool in European nanomaterials companies.

-Initial implant the e-tool to 6% of nanomaterials manufacturer in Europe.

-Implant the e-tool to 50% of the nanomaterials manufacturer in Europe.
The objective of the i-NANOTOOL LIFE+ project is to contribute to the efficient implementation of environmental policy and legislation by companies involved in the production of nanomaterials, especially SMEs. It aims to help these companies access the most up-to-date information on the potential environmental impact of their activity and the current legislative requirements.

The project will establish a complete and thorough compilation of current environmental regulations related to nanomaterials at European and national levels, in each country participating in the project - Spain, Portugal, Romania and Finland. It will also develop methodologies and tests to assess the environmental impact of nanomaterial and their production processes.

To ensure nanomaterial producers can access the information they need, the project intends to develop an interactive platform. This will provide the latest information on the environmental impact of nanomaterials, related legislation and appropriate environmental management. It will also provide an environmental self-diagnosis e-tool for nanotechnology companies. The project hopes to extend the e-Tool throughout the EU.

Ultimately, the project aims to enable companies manufacturing nanomaterials to successfully implement the most appropriate management techniques and meet the requirements of European and national environmental legislation. As well as reducing the environmental risks associated with nanotechnology, the project also seeks to contribute to the updating of environmental policy and legislation around nanotechnology.


The project expects to achieve the following results:

1. A complete compilation of current European environmental regulations related to nanomaterials;
2. A complete compilation of current national environmental regulations in each country participating in the project - Spain, Portugal, Romania and Finland;
3. Tests and methodologies to assess the environmental impact of nanomaterials and their production processes;
4. An innovative e-tool for assessing the environmental status of nanomaterial manufacturers and identifying appropriate management measures;
5. Awareness of the project and its outputs by 50% of nanomaterial manufacturers in Europe;
6. Use of the e-tool by 6% of the nanomaterial manufacturers in Europe and 50% of those in the participating countries; and
7. A reduction in the environmental impact of ENM manufacturing.
INANOTOOL APPROACH

The objective of i-NanoTool is to contribute to the efficient implantation of the environmental policy and legislation in nanomaterials manufacturers companies, especially SMEs. It includes the development of an interactive platform (etool) for environmental self-diagnosis addressed to nanoparticles manufacturers in European countries. Its specific objectives are:

• To facilitate nanoparticles producers the implementation and effective application of the environmental legislation.
• To provide updated information related to environmental impact of their activity and current legislation.
• To provide updated information related to environmental management of their activity.
• To improve the environmental situation of European nanoparticles producers industries.


ENVIRONMENTAL ACHIVEMENTS

NanoTool will allow for the environmental impact reduction of the manufacture process of nanoproducts, through the consolidation of knowledge, implementation, updating, monitoring and evaluation of the environmental policy and legislation, at regional, national and European level of the nanoparticles manufacturers.

The developed eTool is estimated to be implanted in about 20 nanomaterials manufacturers in Europe. Then there will be an accumulative positive impact of the eTool after the life of the project. i-NanoTool is estimated to be disseminated to about 50% of the nanomaterials manufacturers in Europe because of the dissemination capabilities of the consortium members, from 4 different European countries and its contacts in other countries, creating an environmental improvement possibility in around 150 companies.
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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Development Of An Interactive Tool For The Implementation Of Environmental Legislation In Nanoparticle Manufacturers

Acronym: 
I-NANOTOOL LIFE+

Runtime: 
01.07.2013 to 31.12.2015

Status: 
on-going project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

AIDO, TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE IN OPTICS, COLOUR, AND IMAGING

Field: ICT & Media, Manufacturing and Production, Scientific research and development, Engineering (Spain)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Mrs. TARÍN Paula Subirats

Website: http://www.aido.es/

Phone: +34-96 131 80 51

Contact

CENTITVC- CENTRO DE NANOTECNOLOGIA E MATERIAIS TÉCNICOS, FUNCIONAIS E INTELIGENTES

(Portugal)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mrs. SILVA Carla

Website: http://www.centi.pt

TECHNOLOGY CENTRE KETEK, LTD

(Finland)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mrs. KAPONEN Hanna-Kaisa

Website: http://www.ketek.fi

CÁMARA OFICIAL DE COMERCIO, INDUSTRIA Y NAVEGACIÓN DE VALENCIA

(Spain)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mr. MOSSI Rafael

Website: http://www.camaravalencia.com

INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETAREDEZVOLTARE PENTRU MICROTEHNOLOGIE

Field: Scientific research and development (Romania)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mrs. KUSKO Mihaela

Website: http://www.imt.ro